Many psychological problems are characterized by a loss of control or a lack of control in specific situations. Usually, this lack of control is part of a pattern of behavior that also involves other maladaptive thoughts and actions, such as substance abuse problems or sexual disorders like the paraphilias (e.g. pedophilia and exhibitionism). When loss of control is only a component of a disorder, it usually does not have to be a part of the behavior pattern, and other symptoms must also be present for the diagnosis to be made.
But, there are several psychological disorders that are defined primarily by loss of control. These impulse control problems will be described here briefly:
Intermittent Explosive Disorder
[Focus on this...] Intermittent Explosive Disorder
- Episodes of aggressive outbursts resulting in either destruction of property or physical assaults on others. Typically, this problem results in legal problems as well, because the individual is often charged with assault, or a domestic violence charge.
Loss of control is an essential feature of this disorder. The individual, usually male, has had several incidents of losing control of anger, resulting in aggressive acting out, either by assaulting others, or destroying property. The degree of aggression is always out of proportion to any precipitating factors that might be present (within an argument, for example). Typically, these individuals will not take responsibility for their loss of control, instead blaming the victim, other circumstances in their life, or some third party who may have told them something or said something that "caused" their uncontrolled anger. Lack of control is a central part of the problem, and inability to accept responsibility for the aggression helps to alleviate guilt. It also prevents the individual from making any changes.
Dr. Franklin uses both behavioral and cognitive interventions of this type of control problem. In particular, anger management techniques are needed, as well as discovering a way to deflect the anger so that it can be controlled.